According to a new report published this week by the think tank IPPR North, over a third of people living in England think that local authorities should be given more powers.
Drawing upon evidence from the latest Future of England Survey, the report shows that 39% of people living in England think that local authorities should have more powers, compared to just 14% who think that local authorities should have fewer powers. It also shows that support for greater powers is particularly strong in the regions of the North East and North West of England and that a ‘Boris of the North’ is needed to provide strong leadership in the North and who can make the case for further powers and controls.
The report says that people feel most strongly attached to their local area. 80% of people said they felt closely attached to their local area, compared to 75% to England, 66% to Britain and 26% to Europe.
Ed Cox, Director of IPPR North, said: “Local attachment is felt strongest outside of London and the South East and translates into calls for more powerful local institutions. The UK government has now offered new powers and institutions to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London, where social and political identification have been strongest, but this should not be the end of the story. The Scottish referendum later in the year is already shining a light on the so called English question; central government should now listen and respond to the public appetite for more powers for the city-regions outside London.”
Photo credit: Victoria Quay by Scottish Government